thu 21/10/2021

Shakespeare

Macbeth, Almeida Theatre review – vivid, but much too long

Remembering the months of lockdown, I can’t be the only person to thrill to this play’s opening lines, “When shall we three meet again?”, a phrase evocative enough to be borrowed as the first line of this year’s Wolf Alice album, Blue Weekend....

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Hamlet, Young Vic review - Cush Jumbo flares in a low-key production

It is a truism that every Hamlet is different, depending more than any other play on the casting of the lead. Each production moulds itself around the personality of the actor playing the prince. In Cush Jumbo, working here with Greg Hersov, who...

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Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's Globe review - foot-stompingly good fun

The best version of Twelfth Night I’ve seen is not called Twelfth Night. For sheer knockabout entertainment, nothing beats the 2006 film She’s the Man. But Sean Holmes’ production for the Globe’s summer season, brimming with song and physical comedy...

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Hamlet, Windsor Theatre Royal review - the age is out of joint

So it wasn’t Cinderella but Hamlet who was first out of the post-lockdown starting blocks – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much trumpeted musical premiere being foiled by a ping at the weekend. Instead the historic first curtain-up was 20 miles up the River...

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King Lear, The Grange Festival review - friendship in adversity

Much has been made of the raison d’etre for this King Lear as the slowly gestated, Covid-delayed brainchild of the director Keith Warner, assembling a company of acting singers who have made their names on the opera stage. How this played out on the...

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Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare's Globe review - unsatisfactory mix of clumsy and edgy

"It is dangerous for women to go outside alone," blares the electronic sign above the stage of the new Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe. This disquieting sentiment obviously takes some of its resonance from the Sarah Everard case, yet it also...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's Globe review - a blast of colour from our post-vaccine future

A little less than two years after Sean Holmes’s kick-ass Latin American carnival-style A Midsummer Night’s Dream erupted at the side of the Thames, it has returned to a very different world. It’s no longer a natural expression of the kind of...

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Romeo and Juliet, Creation Theatre online review - game version falls between stools

There is a promising production struggling to get out of this muddled concept. Creation Theatre (here partnered with Watford Palace) is well known for innovative, site-specific pieces, one of which –The Tempest – was adapted for the screen,...

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The Winter's Tale, RSC, BBC Four review - post-war poise colours a solid production

It has been a hard coming for this RSC Winter’s Tale. Erica Whyman’s production was cancelled by the virus days before its premiere last spring, with plans to stage it in the autumn frustrated by the second lockdown. This broadcast version,...

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Romeo and Juliet, National Theatre online review - a triumphant hybrid

Shakespeare's enduring tale of star-crossed lovers is especially pertinent in a pandemic. The fatal plot twist depends on failed communication during an outbreak of pestilence, and one of the most famous lines is Mercutio's heartfelt, "A plague on...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, SHAKE Festival livestream review - a star turn from Luisa Omielan makes this 'Bottom's Dream'

Just what the Zoom era has brought to theatre – to performers and audiences alike – is something we will no doubt be pondering for some while yet, certainly still in the much-anticipated eventual hereafter when stages in their “traditional”...

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Shakespeare Re-Shaped, Opera Up Close online review - Verdi on the sofa

The screen lights up, the Zoom link connects and there, blinking back at you (30% awkward, 70% enthusiastic) is a familiar face. Is it definitely working? Can you hear me? What do we say now? God, I'm getting old. Even after 12 months of...

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